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Gov’t closely studying CARS program extension –Marcos

TOKYO — The Marcos administration is now studying the proposed extension of the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said.

In a statement, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said that Marcos had a meeting with officials of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation here.

The President, according to the PCO, told Mitsubishi Motors that while a study is underway for the extension of the CARS program, the government is "very much of the mind that we have to encourage this investment because it is an industrial and high-end manufacturing operation."

“It is something that would be important to the Philippines because we are trying to encourage now... both for local businesses and businesses from other countries and businesses from Japan… we are trying to encourage this capital investment to improve the share of manufacturing contribution to the GDP (gross domestic product),” said Marcos.

The CARS program, created through the issuance of Executive Order No. 182 in 2015, gives participating carmakers six years to comply with the minimum volume target sales of 200,000 locally manufactured cars each for their enrolled car models for them to get incentives.

Mitsubishi Motors enrolled its Mirage while Toyota Motors listed its Vios under the CARS program.

Mitsubishi’s participation in the program is set to expire this year, while Toyota’s will expire in 2024.

Marcos said that manufacturing seems to be the direction that the Philippines is going, in a bid to "balance the economy."

“Right now, services is a large majority of the contribution to GDP, which is alright, and we want to keep that going. But we want to balance the contribution from different sectors of the economy,” the President said.

In its presentation, Mitsubishi said the Philippines serves as one of the most important markets for the company and expressed commitment to promote a green energy factory with its solar rooftop project. — DVM, GMA Integrated News